Top Ten Ways to Pick a Neighborhood for your Family

In modern day Real Estate, we have found more than ever that choosing a Neighborhood is the most important decision a Buyer makes. They are looking for the perfect community, not just the perfect home. Schools, retail, traffic, walkability and style all play a role in choosing a Neighborhood. The Urban Core of OKC is seeing a renaissance of the City Neighborhood.

The diversity of style and location in the Urban Core allows many buyers to have multiple options. Everything from Historic to modern housing is on the rise. So how do you find that perfect Neighborhood for your Family? We put together a list of ten ways to make that decision.

10. Traffic

Living in the Urban Core of a major Metropolitan area can be a time saver. Unless of course you live next to a major street or highway. Always check the traffic in and around the Neighborhoods you are looking at. You might find it is too much for your sanity to wait in line to get only a few blocks. Oklahoma City is still relatively light on traffic, but populations grow.

Example: Jefferson Park is close to a major highway, but is hidden away from major traffic.

9. Landscape

Believe it or not, there are Urban Core Neighborhoods with inclined streets and busy yards in OKC. If you love doing yard work yourself, look for homes that have customizable spaces. Streets lined with tall streets can give you shade during Summer months. However, those trees then drop their leaves all over yards and streets. If that is a hassle to you, choose a Neighborhood with younger, smaller trees.

Example: Crown Heights is known for the many different landscapes and has close access to multiple parks.

 

 

8. History

At Verbode we love the history of our homes. The stories of owners past and the many changes the Neighborhood and home have been through. Some Neighborhoods have more history than others which will likely give them protection from the Historic Preservation of OKC. Changes to homes must be approved in order to keep the Neighborhood as it was meant to look.

Example: Heritage Hills has more homes with great stories than they know what to do with.

7. Retail

With the rise of OKC districts, more and more local retail is opening near Urban Core Neighborhoods. Whether it be restaurants or shopping opportunities, the Urban Core has plenty to choose from. If your favorite store or restaurant is only walking distance away, you may want to rethink moving in that Neighborhood. It may cause you to gain weight or spend too much money. All joking aside, there are many Neighborhoods that benefit from their close proximity to retail.

Example: Gatewood, in close proximity of the Plaza District, is walking distance from many new shops and restaurants.

 

6. Walking & Biking Ability

Cities are trying harder to give their citizen’s more options of getting around town. It is a huge plus to have sidewalks and plenty of room for bikes in a Neighborhood. It almost seemed a sense of nostalgia to think of a Neighborhood that was walkable and bike safe. Now thanks to a few Maps Projections, OKC neighborhoods are getting new sidewalks and streets are being widened. Nothing is better than walking in your Neighborhood with your family and pets. Check out the walkscore of your favorite Neighborhood.

Example: Mesta Park has wide streets and brand new sidewalks that a many residents use on a daily basis.

5. Association

Not all Neighborhoods have Associations, but the strong and well connected ones do. In recent years a few Neighborhoods in the Urban Core lacked a plan of action to make their Neighborhoods better. Now there are strong Associations within even the smallest of Neighborhoods. Associations can help with beautification and maintenance of the area. It also allows for block parties and get togethers so you can better know those who live nearby.

Example: Miller has recently put together a great and well received Neighborhood Association.

4. Access

Access has a lot to do about location and how to get in and out of your Neighborhood. Most Neighborhoods in the Urban Core were planned on a grid system. Allowing multiple different entrance and exit points through out. It is now important to find the routes through your Neighborhood that take you to your favorite Districts. You may find out it is easier to access by foot or bike, than by car.

Example: Paseo is wedged between the Paseo Arts District and Uptown 23rd. Both a short walk from the Neighborhood.

3. Affordability

We are very lucky in the OKC Urban Core to have many ranges of affordability. Yes, most everyone wants to live in the Historic Neighborhood with large estates and amazing architecture. However, the best Neighborhood for your family, is the one that is affordable to your financial situation. There are Neighborhoods that would surprise you with their affordability.

Example: Crestwood gives you the historic feel with the affordability for all price ranges.

 

2. Schools

Now more than ever we are searching for schools that we feel safe sending our kids too. Not only do we want them to receive a great academic education, we also want them to have a strong social education. Learning to interact with all types of people and cultures. Many of the Urban Neighborhoods have schools built right in the middle. This means you can walk your most precious of family members to school everyday.

Example: Cleveland has a school with the same name and is also close to the Middle & High schools your children would attend.

1. Safety

Above all we want to feel safe in our Neighborhoods. Crime is not always consistent in certain areas, so it is important to research the area and those living in it. Ask potential Neighbors if they have felt safe living in that Neighborhood. Make sure the crime rate is low and on the decline. Take a stroll through the streets at night to gage if it feels safe. Street lights and open front doors are good indicators of how safe a Neighborhood is.

Example: Putnam Heights has sidewalks with lights and plenty of room between homes. Allowing for a buffer from the major streets and traffic.

 

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Top Ten New Local Businesses in OKC

Coming Soon:

Bunker Club

The great people behind the Pump Bar in Uptown 23rd are already giving us another bar to fall in love with. The nostalgic 80’s born millennial will love this cold war themed bar. Set to open any time now, we will have to do more research and let you know all about it.

Ur/Bun Eats

If you love the food at Chae, you will probably enjoy a delicious Korean style bun from UrBun Eats. They will be located next door to the Bunker Club. Which will make a great combination!

Just Opened:

Esca Vitae

A new bakery concept for the Midtown OKC district, Esca Vitae will be located in the same spot Prairie Thunder use to have their bakery. Their soft open was Monday and it will likely become a favorite of the locals.

Rewind Retro Pub

Located in the Farmers Market District, Rewind is a pub with a food menu and plenty of old school arcade games. They are just opened last week and reviews have been pretty good so far. Take the whole family for a night of games and delicious food.

 


 

Top Ten:

10. The Laboratory

One word: Sneakers. The Laboratory is not the first speciality shoe store in the urban core of OKC, but it is the first to focus on athletic sneakers as a fashion statement. This small shop is located in the heart of OKC Midtown District and has a new neighbor in Insomniac Cookies. What could be better?

Local

image by The Laboratory OKC

9. Bone Dog Boutique

Deep Deuce now has a great place to pamper that furry friend of yours. Located at street level inside the Aloft Hotel, it is walking distance for anyone that lives in the apartments near by. It is conveniently next to the Deep Deuce dog park. They offer washing bays, toys, many types of food and an assortment of treats safe for your best friend with four legs.

Local

image by Bone Dog Boutique

8. Yuzo Sushi Tapas

The newest kid on the Automobile Alley block is impressing just about everyone who sits down to their food experience. The saying, “You get what you pay for!” is a great way to describe Yuzo. It may have a higher priced menu, but it makes up for that with the taste and presentation. If you are a sushi fanatic this is should be your new favorite dining location. Try the Elotes, all I have to say is, you’re welcome!

Local

image by Yuzo

7. Wheeze the Juice

A child of the 90’s will more than likely get a good laugh out of this clever name. All kidding aside, Wheeze the Juice is not just another juice bar. They bring new flavors to life that you weren’t expecting. If you are not the juicing type, they also offer smoothies. We really love the Camp Anawana smoothie. It fills your stomach while also being filled with flavor. Located in the OKSEE storage containers in Deep Deuce.

Local

image by Wheeze the Juice

6. The Yoga Box

Yes, there are many great places around OKC that can give you the best Yoga experience. However, there is only one that offers up meal plans as well. The Yoga Box not only heals your mind and muscles, it cures your stomach of bland processed foods. Located inside of the 50 Penn Place building it also gives you a great opportunity to rest after a long session at Full Circle Bookstore.

5. Pritchard Wine Bar

A year or so ago there was a void in the Plaza District. A wine bar had closed and there were many looking for their new place to relax with a glass a wine. Pritchard Wine Bar has come to the rescue. Lovely staff and warm interiors make this a wonderful place to bring your closest friends and indulge in a great wine list.

Local

image by Pritchard Wine Bar

4. Silo in Farmers Market

A space with collaborators from JL Woodworkx, The Okay See and Brad Snider Photography. This is the retail location for those who love local craftsmanship and clever t-shirt designs. With the Silo opening in the Farmers Market District, you can now spend all day spending your local dollars in one location.

Local

image by Silo

3. En Croute

En Croûte is a restaurant, bar and fromagerie opening in 2016 in Nichols Hills Plaza. It is meant to evoke the comfort and leisurely lifestyle the team has enjoyed in the fromageries, cafes, and bars in European country villages, but with an American twist. It is the place to try something new and they will take you on a taste adventure.

Local

image by En Croute

2. Loaded Bowl

Started from the food truck craze and has now added a brick and mortar location in the Farmer’s Market District. Great tasting food you almost forget is vegan. Sure, the menu says chicken, bacon and cheese, however their menu is vegan. Fresh flavors are at an abundance here and you will soon find your favorite vegan entree.

Local

menu by The Loaded Bowl

1. Common Place Books

Before they have even finished their actual location, Common Place Books opened up in the OKC Midtown District with a ton of fanfare. With all the new technology we have in the world there is still something very satisfying about reading a book with paper and a cover. This is an intimate place to bring the family, especially the kids considering their new program called Books and Kids and Art and Stuff.

Local

image by Commonplace Books

 

Top Ten Urban Core Retail Spots for Holiday Shopping

Yes, it was a super long Summer and we are finally starting to feel the weather move into Fall & Winter, but the great weather aloud for many new shops to open in the Urban Core of OKC! This means there is no excuse to shop local and shop early. Shopping can be a hobby and if it is your hobby, your in luck. Every district including Film Row, Uptown, Midtown and The Plaza District, added local retail this year.

You will likely still need to go to the Mall for some gifts, but local retail is starting to spread to many different markets. It is fact that you probably know someone that knows someone that opened a new retail store in the Urban Core. We decided to compile a list of those new places in order to make your Holiday shopping easy. Here are the Top Ten New Urban Core Retail Spots for Holiday Shopping!

10. Opolis Clothing in Midtown

As one of the few companies that started up around 10 years ago to create local styled clothing with an emphasis on T-shirt designs, Opolis Clothing has stood the test of time by being creative and positive. They ask all their customers to “Love life, live comfortable”!

This year they went an extra step and bought an Historic Fire Station in Midtown, fixed it up, and then recently opened it up as a retail location.

9. T, Urban Tea House in Uptown 23rd

Shopping

Not all gifts have to be wearable. Sometimes you need to give a gift that activates the taste buds and warms from the inside out. At T, Urban Tea House in Uptown, you can buy just that. With over 100 different types of tea, T, Urban Tea House wants to share with you the many benefits of tea.

“Tea predates coffee by 3,000 years. And because of tea’s respectability, quality caffeine source, and myriad health benefits, there’s no denying its enduring popularity.” – T, Urban Tea House

 

 

8. 9th Street Barking Lot in Automobile Alley

Shopping

This holiday do not forget about your favorite furry family member! The 9th Street Barking Lot in Automobile Alley is a one stop shop for the family dog. They have eats, treats, daycare, grooming and even toys.

With many different packages available, you can customize how much fun your dog will have. 9th Street considers your dog apart of the family and will take care of them as one of their own.

 

 

7. Rough Hand Collective in The Plaza

 

Are you a stickler for handmade craftsmanship? Do you like the smell of leather? There is a new place for you. Rough Hand Collective is a shop full of different goods by great craftsmen. Located behind Saints in the Plaza District, it might be hard to find parking, but you will spend more time inside looking at all the product.

They are looking to add more Vendors to their already impressive list. Check out Simpleton Goods and Hix Design!

 

6. The Laboratory in Midtown

 

For those sneaker fanatics this consignment boutique has been a want for a long time. The Laboratory recently opened to a long line of sneaker owners looking to change it up. From one of a kind styles to vintage style Jordans, you can find something for anyone here.

 

 

5. The Clad Stache in Automobile Alley

Shopping

Sometimes it is hard to shop for Dad or any man in general. It isn’t that they are picky, they just don’t like to shop. Leave your worries behind, there is a place where you can shop and send your Male family members back to get the best fit possible.

Located above Broadway Wine Merchants and in the same area as Hans Herman tailoring, The Clad Stache has bow ties, neck ties, and men’s grooming products. You will also find Spruce Midwest for the young adventurous type.

 

4. Mode in Midtown

Shopping

Now it is time to take care of the Women! Mode is a new women’s fashion boutique in Midtown. They offer a wide variety of styles and colors. Mode has finally been able to put out their Fall & Winter apparel just in time.

There are plenty of shoes, sweaters, and accessories to choose from. The best part, they can help you put together the perfect outfit! That was a hint to all you Dad’s out there.

 

3. Fit Circle in Midtown

Shopping

A store for the active person in your life. Sports, outdoor activities, and comfortable clothing for those yoga gurus. Fit Circle is a place to help anyone find their next adventure. All you need to do is buy some athletic clothing and it makes you want to get out and do something.

If this weather stays the same, you will likely be able to be outdoors all the way through December.

 


At Verbode we understand how hard it is for the Modern family to get out and travel all over town to find the perfect gifts. Luckily we have great pop up shops that happen every year that combine all of our favorite local places to shop.

2. Holiday Pop-Ups in Midtown

 

This year, visit over 40 independent shops, an urban Christmas tree lot managed by Bishop John Carroll School and much more at the Holiday Pop-Up Shops. Shops rotate weekly through a set of geodesic domes & the tree lot is available until trees sell out.

Here is a list of all Vendors and the dates they are available at the pop-up shop: Vendor List.

 

1. Winter Shoppes in Myriad Gardens Park

Open weekends from November 25 – December 18, the Winter Shoppes at Myriad Gardens can be your new family holiday shopping tradition in downtown Oklahoma City.  Enjoy a festive outdoor atmosphere complete with lights, ice skating, a fine selection of boutique-style vendors and all that the Myriad Gardens has to offer.

2016 Vendors will be announced November 9th. You will likely see some brand new local shops.

 

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